The success of the Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! series led to an increase in the number of Japanese cartoons that were brought to North America. This is likely why Beyblade was chosen to be dubbed into English, as it was directly tied into a toyline that was being promoted with every episode.
Beyblade was similar to Yu-Gi-Oh! in that both series used a setting that was totally focused on the product they were promoting (plastic toys for the former and trading cards for the latter).
The cast of Beyblade possessed Beyblade's that contained magical spirits that could destroy the world, yet they were allowed to remain in the hands of children. The entire world treated the Beyblade game as an international sport, with sold-out arenas hosting the battles between the best players.
We are here today to look at one of the most bizarre anime series of the '00s.
From Tyson's turn as a Smash Bros. character to the recent return of the Bladebreakers, here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Beyblade!
15 Tyson Once Fought Solid Snake, Simon Belmont, And Bomberman
The Super Smash Bros. series helped to create a sub-genre of fighting games that use characters who belong to various properties and brings them together in a huge crossover.
In Smash Bros.' case, it is mostly Nintendo characters, though a few third-party representatives have also appeared. Sony and Cartoon Network have also tried to create their own Smash Bros. clones with limited success.
There was a Japan-only game called DreamMix TV World Fighters that was released on the GameCube and PlayStation 2 in 2003. It featured characters from Hudson Soft and Konami games, as well as from toys produced by Takara.
Tyson from Beyblade appears as a playable character in the game. He can do battle with the likes of Solid Snake from the Metal Gear Solid series, Simon Belmont from the Castlevania games, Optimus Prime from Transformers, and Bomberman.
14 Kai's Censored Prison Encounter
Kai has the darkest backstory of any of the Bladebreakers. He was raised in an Abbey by his grandfather, who trained him to be a blader. It was during his hellish training that Kai first encountered the Black Dranzer, which caused him to repress his memories of his childhood and flee from the Abbey in order to seek out a new life.
There was a scene involving the Abbey that was censored in the English dub of Beyblade. Kai explores the basement of the Abbey and finds a series of dungeons.
One of the inhabitants of the prison cells is a young boy who lost to Tyson in a match the day before. The loss led to him being imprisoned, with a grisly fate awaiting him in the future. This causes Kai to step away from the cell. All we see in the English dub is Kai backing away from the cell, with no sight of the boy.
13 The Beyblade Album (Feat. Nickleback)
It seemed like every big anime series in the '00s needed its own official album. Yu-Gi-Oh! had Yu-Gi-Oh! Music to Duel By, which fell straight into the "so bad it's good" category, while Pokémon had numerous albums that were made up of original tracks, songs from the show, and songs performed by the voice cast.
Beyblade had Beyblade, Let It Rip - The Official Album. This was a record that was composed of songs from the show, along with several pop songs that had no relation to Beyblade at all.
What Beyblade fan doesn't want to get prepped for their next game by listening to "How You Remind Me" by Nickelback, "Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus, and "Movies" by Alien Ant Farm?
12 Make Beyblade Great Again!
In the episode of Beyblade called "Blading With The Stars", the Bladebreakers are asked to participate in a match for charity. Max from the Bladebreakers, Emily from the All-Starz, and Mario from Spintensity join together to face off against a team made up of celebrities.
The final member of the Celebrity Team is revealed to be Mayor McSneeze, which surprises the Bladebreakers, as they had never seen a politician play the game before.
McSneeze was actually the President of the United States of America in the original Japanese version of the episode. The reason for this change is unknown, but it is possible that the localizers felt that the presence of the President might make the show too unrealistic.
McSneeze isn't the only American President to ever become involved in an anime sport, as a Barack Obama parody called John Omaha appeared in Air Gear.
11 Dizzi Was Created By The English Dub
Kenny was a member of the Bladebreakers who acted in an advisory role. It was his job to help the team build and maintain their Beyblades, which he did with the help of his computer. Kenny's laptop was possessed by the spirit of a chatty Bit-Beast called Dizzi, who offered advice to Kenny and the team, as well as provide the team with some terrible puns.
Dizzi was a creation of the English dub of Beyblade. No such character exists in the Japanese version of the show and no Bit-Beast ever communicates in the same way that Dizzi did. She was likely created to help add some exposition and humor to the show.
This kind of change isn't unheard of in an anime localization. The English dub of Battle of the Planets created a robot called 7-Zark-7, which acted in a similar manner to Dizzi.
10 The Censored Fate Of Wyatt
The Beyblade anime totally misrepresents how the game actually works. When you actually play Beyblade, you don't get to control the blades after they have been fired and you don't get to summon giant spirit monsters to do your bidding.
The Beyblades are far more powerful in the world of Beyblade. One of the ways this manifested was the fate of Wyatt Smithwright. He was a kid who looked up to Kai but was shunned by him. Wyatt was later chosen to test one of the Cyber Bit-Beasts.
Wyatt used Cyber Dranzer in battle, though its energy turned out to be too much for him. The strain of using Cyber Dranzer caused Wyatt to lose his mind and become incurably insane... in the English dub. In the Japanese version of Beyblade, Wyatt was killed by the strain of using Cyber Dranzer.
9 The Terrible Accents Of The Majestics
A lot of the voice actors who appear in the English dubs of anime have no consideration for doing the proper accents required for the characters. You also see a lot of alien/supernatural characters with regional accents, like Jeice's Australian accent in Dragon Ball Z.
One of the worst examples of this happened during the first season of Beyblade. The Bladebreakers run afoul of the Majestics, which is a team made up of the best Beybladers in Europe. Each member of the Majestics represented a different country and none of their voice actors bothered to attempt the correct accent.
The leader of the Majestics was Robert Jurgens from Germany, who had a British accent. The other members included Enrique from Italy and Oliver from France, who both had American accents. The final member is Johnny McGregor from Scotland, who has an accent that can be best described as "anime cat girl."
8 The Harry Potter Ending
The Beyblade anime ended with Tyson defeating Brooklyn and crushing BEGA once and for all. The series ended with Tyson having one last battle against Kai, though we don't get to see who wins. This ending was purposely left open in order to make it possible for more Beyblade sequels to be created, though this did not come to pass.
Bakuten Shoot Beyblade ended on a more definitive note. The last volume of Bakuten Shoot Beyblade showed us the future of the series, with Tyson's son Makoto entering a Beyblade tournament, where he faces off against Kai's son Goh and Rei & Mariah's daughter Lin.
We don't get to see either Tyson or Kai's wife, which kept the hopes of the Yaoi shippers across the world alive.
7 The Game Still Has A Huge Following
Beyblade didn't seem to have the staying power of other anime series, since it doesn't inspire the same levels of nostalgia as Pokémon or Yu-Gi-Oh! have.
The Pokémon video games still sell millions of copies, while the Yu-G-Oh! card game went on to surpass Magic: The Gathering as the most popular trading card game in the world. By contrast, Beyblade seems to have faded away.
However, the actual Beyblade game is still very popular, with official tournaments being held regularly across the world. This is helped by the fact that Beyblade found a huge audience in India and Latin America. New Beyblades are still released to this day, with tier lists being created by the fans for each new iteration of the game.
6 It Was Inspired By A Toyline From The '60s
The Beyblade toyline was actually a modern iteration of a far older kind of toy, known as Battling Tops. This was a game that dates back to the late '60s, though it received numerous updates throughout the years, such as having a Sci-Fi makeover when the original Star Wars movie was released.
Battling Tops featured eight different tops that all used the same kind of launcher. Beyblade's version of the game was an attempt at bringing an anime/video game aesthetic to the idea of spinning tops.
The Beyblades looked impressive and had a customizable element. The launchers that you used to fire the Beyblades into the arena were also a lot more satisfying than the ones included in the older versions of the game.
5 The Censored Cross-Dressing Scene
The thirteenth episode of Beyblade: G-Revolution had a scene that was removed from the English localization of the dub. This was because it featured a dream sequence where Tyson wore female clothing.
The coach of the White Tigers takes Tyson out shopping in Italy. He tries to convince Tyson to put on a dress, which Tyson refuses. In the original Japanese version of the episode, we see an imaginary montage of what Tyson wearing the dresses would look like. This entire sequence was skipped in the English dub.
It is unusual that this scene was censored, as Beyblade's contemporaries had no problem showing characters cross-dressing. Ash from Pokémon wore a dress on several occasions, such as when he needed to enter Erika's Gym, as she favored female trainers, while Mokuba wore Princess Adena's dress as part of a plan in Yu-Gi-Oh!
4 It Is An Adaptation Of A Manga Series
The Beyblade anime series was an adaptation of a manga called Bakuten Shoot Beyblade. The Beyblade manga was actually created to promote the toys, rather than the other way around.
Bakuten Shoot Beyblade was created by Takao Aoki. The series ran in CoroCoro Comic from 1999 to 2004, which was later followed by Beyblade: Metal Fusion.
The events of the Beyblade anime follow the story of the manga, though the anime was allowed to flesh out the battles more and add characters of its own. The events of Beyblade V-Force and G-Revolution were also adapted from the manga.
The main difference between Bakuten Shoot Beyblade and the TV series was that it was allowed to have a definitive ending to the series, while the ending of the anime was left open for the possibility of more sequels.
3 The Censored Rasputin Cameo
There is a certain fascination with including real-life dictators and murderers in fictional works and connecting their crimes to the supernatural.
Adolf Hitler appeared in Persona 2: Innocent Sin, where he appears as a manifestation of Nyarlathotep, while Animal Man established that the killings performed by the Manson Family were provoked by Vandal Savage.
The Japanese version of Beyblade linked the creation of the Black Dranzer to a real historical figure. According to Volkov, the Black Dranzer was created by none other than Rasputin.
He used his powers of alchemy and his knowledge of the occult to create a Beyblade. It took the fall of the Romanov dynasty in order to keep the power of the Black Dranzer sealed away. This connection was left out of the English dub of Beyblade.
2 A Live-Action Movie Is In Development
The world has had to suffer through several terrible live-action adaptations of famous anime franchises over the past decade. It seems that the extremely negative receptions for Dragonball Evolution, Ghost in the Shell and Netflix's Death Note have yet to deter Hollywood, as there are currently live-action versions of Naruto and Pokémon in development.
It seems that Beyblade will be receiving its own live-action movie adaptation in the future. Paramount Pictures acquired the rights to create a Beyblade movie in 2015, with Mary Parent producing the movie through Disruption Entertainment.
We know little about this project, which suggests that it is still very early in development, as no news about casting has been released. It's also unclear if the movie will follow the Bladebreakers, one of the later iterations of Beyblade, or feature an entirely new cast of characters.
1 The Bladebreakers Have Returned!
It seems as if the popular anime series from the '00s have slowly been returning to the mainstream. Dragon Ball Super is now the official continuation of Dragon Ball Z, with Dragon Ball GT being wiped from continuity, while Pokémon Go revived interest in the games in a big way. The latest Pokémon projects seem to be referencing Pokémon Red & Blue more and more, with less regard given to creating new content.
Beyblade may be the next property to return. We say this because the manga has received an official continuation, with the original artist back on board. Takao Aoki brought the Bladebreakers back in 2016 for a new series called Bakuten Shoot Beyblade: Rising.
This series continues on from the ending of the original manga (before the time skip that showed Tyson's son) and features the original characters. Tyson lost to Kai and went into hiding in order to perfect a new technique so that he can defeat his rival in battle once more.
It's possible that Bakuten Shoot Beyblade: Rising will be turned into an anime at some point, which will give Beyblade another shot at becoming a mainstream hit once more.
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Beyblade? Let us know in the comments!
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